6-2 3/8, 319,
32.5" Arms, 26 Reps,
29.5" Vert, 8" Broad,
S-1.75-1.77 (U 5.05-5.07),
(10) Eric Ebron TE North Carolina.
(40) Kyle Van Noy OLB BYU.
Travis Swanson OC Arkansas
(133) Nevon Lawson CB Utah St.
Larry Webster DE Bloomsburg
(158) Caraun Reid DT Princeton.
6 (189) T.J. Jones WR Notre Dame
Kellen Moore QB
Dan Orlovsky QB
Haloti Ngata DT
Brandon Copeland LB
Josh Wilson CB
Key Free Agents:
Dominic Raiola, C
Andre Fluellen, DT
George Johnson, DE
Ashlee Palmer, OLB
Key F.A. Lost:
Ndamukong Suh, DT
The Team: This one is simple. They have four D-tackles who are free agents. Until we see where they sign they have to be looking hard at all the DTs in this draft. Detroit has expressed interest in Goldman.
The Player: Post Draft Bio: 5/14 He Checks All The Boxes: Malcom Brown.
Brown is of the most underrated players in this Draft. He is tough against the run, but can also crush the pocket and hit the QB. Teams will always need interior linemen who can do those two things. He is a versatile guy who played in Texas' multiple front defense. He played NT and he can certainly play DT in the NFL. "Typical Texas guy," said one scout. "Has talent but little bit of an underachiever. He has more ability than he's showing. He can be a three-technique or a shade. Has some upside." So many DCs are going to fall in love with his Tape. He stays and plays low and mean, and uses his arms to hold the point. Two-Gap DCs are going to love this guy. Nice feet for a NT.
A three-year player who emerged as one of the best defensive players in the nation as a junior ... two-year starter who was named a 2014 finalist for both the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (top defensive player) and Outland Trophy (top interior lineman) ... became the 47th Longhorn (eighth defensive tackle) to earn consensus first team All-America honors by appearing on the AP, Sporting News and FWAA squads ... a 2014 first-team All-Big 12 selection by The Associated Press, league coaches, ESPN.com and Austin American-Statesman ... played in all 39 games over his three seasons (26 starts) ... announced his intention to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft on Jan. 8 ... ended his career having started 26 straight games which was second on the team behind Cedric Reed (32) ... in 2014 became the first defensive tackle to lead the team in tackles for loss and sacks since Tony Degrate in 1984 ... a member of the watch list for the 2014 Chuck Bednarik Award ... an All-American in high school .. rated as the second-best DT in the nation coming out of high school by ESPNU.
The Reason: This is another example of why this Draft is so tough to predict. Brown could go as high as Cleveland at 12 or drop way down here at 23. Goldman could go 19 to Cleveland or drop all the way to Denver at 28. The Lions are in huge trouble next year as their entire D-line fell apart in free agency. Signing Ngata was a good deal, and adding Brown could give them a solid old and young one two punch at D-Tackle.
Second Choice: Melvin Gordon RB
6', 210, 4.52! 10'6" Broad!
4.07 SS! 11.0 60-Yard.
35" Vert, 7.04 SS, 18 Reps
Deone Bucannon S Wash St
(52) Troy Niklas TE Notre Dame
Kareem Martin 5-T N Carolina
(91) John Brown WR Pitt ST
(120) Logan Thomas QB VT
(160) Ed Stinson DT Alabama.
Key F.A. Signed:
LaMarr Woodley OLB
Corey Peters NT
Marcus Benard, OLB
Dan Williams, DT
Tommy Kelly, DT
Tommy Kelly, DT
Chris Clemons, S
Key F.A. Lost:
ob Housler, TE
Ted Ginn WR
Antonio Cromartie, CB
Sam Ocho OLB
The Team: The HC said he wanted to add strength and toughness to the OL at the Combine. He did that with Iupati. He said he wanted to add speed at linebacker. He did that with Weatherspoon. So now it is time to help the Offense. Gordon was the best RB in the Nation last year, period. He is a great slasher who plays faster than he times. You can see him run a 4.3 in a forty yard burst on the field in full pads. Some guys play faster than they time, and some guys run faster than they play. Gordon is a 4.3 guy on the field.
Funchess is the guy I wanted to give them all along, but he ran himself out of the 1st with a bad Combine. Then he exploded back into the 1st with a Forty at his Proday measured between 4.48 and 4.52. Which made the comparison to Kelvin Benjamin seem more accurate to me. They are so good on defense that they have to get some help for their terrible offense. Gordon is the guy who could impact this offense the most. However, he is an RB and their are a dozen guys who could have impacts as rookies this year. Maxx Williams could help their Two-TE offense, but they already have two quality starters. Funchess could step in for Fitzgerald if they have to cut him. Or step in for Carlson as an explosive receiving H-Back. We all know how much Bruce Arians loves tight ends. So why not have one as a Slot receiver as well.
The Player: 5/7 Slashing Through History- Melvin Gordon.
Gordon is not just all flash and dash. He is a record setting runningback who is tough and durable. "Unique runner," one scout said. "He's got a little bit of Jamaal Charles in him. Upright, fast runner. He's quick and has very good feet." He set the single game rushing record in NCAA history, and was taken out of the game after three quarters. He is fast, slick, and smart with the ball in his hands. "He's good, but against those slow Big Ten guys," said another scout. "That's what bothers me a little bit." Plus he showed he could block a little in the passing game this year. He plays like a 4.3 RB on the field.
Set the FBS record for career rushing average with 7.79 yards per carry ... total of 4,915 rushing yards ranks No. 3 all-time at Wisconsin and No. 6 on Big Ten career list ... ranks No. 3 at Wisconsin and No. 9 all-time in Big Ten with 49 total touchdowns ... holds school rushing average records for a career (7.79 yards per carry), a season (7.81 ypc, 2013) and a game (19.5, vs. Bowling Green, 9/20/2014) ... fastest player in Wisconsin history to reach 1,000 career rushing yards (104 attempts) ... owns 22 career 100-yard games, including 19 of 140-plus yards and 7 of 200-plus yards.
The Reason: They have to get an RB to help Ellington and Palmer. Gordon will take over the starter duties soon enough, and Ellington can turn himself into an elite 3rd down back. This pick is too perfect to happen. Look for Armstead as well. He fits perfectly with what they have Drafted at D-linemen the past 5-10 years or so.
Second Choice: Arik Armstead 5-T
33.5" Arms, 26 Reps, S-1.81, (U 5.21),
31" V, 8'8"B,
(28) Kelvin Benjamin WR FLA St
(60) Kony Ealy DE Missouri.
(92) Trai Turner OG LSU.
(128) Tre Boston S N Carolina.
Bene’ Benwikere DB San Jose St
Key F.A. Signed:
Joe Webb WR/QB
Ted Ginn KR/WR
Jarrett Boykin wr
Fozzy Whittaker RB
Jordan Todman RB
Brian Folkerts OC
Greg Olsen TE
Dwan Edwards DL
Ben Jacobs LB
Jason Trusnik KB
Ted Williams CB
Key Free Agents Lost:
Derek Dennis OG
Horace Miller LB
The Team: Last year they had big trouble. Gross retired and there really wasn't an OLT for them to take at 28. But this year there will be a legit NFL OLT for them to take. Either Collins, Humphries, or Clemmings should be available with this pick. They have to bite the bullet and take one of those guys. This years Draft is a little different. We are used to seeing OLTs go in the top ten, like we saw the past few years. However, the tide has turned and the top athletes in this Draft are not OLTs. Each has concerns.
They completely mismanaged the Draft last year, and it should have cost them their jobs. They got lucky and made the Playoffs with the worst record in the history of the playoffs, because the AFC South was the worst division in the history of the NFL.
The Player: Humphries had injuries and trouble gaining weight over 290. Plus, his 33" arms are good, but not great. But he has the feet, hips, and heavy hands to play OLT in the NFL. He is a tough prospect to figure. He blew out his knee in 2013. The knee didn't bother him in 2014, but he did miss two games with a bum ankle. Plus because he played underweight, he was thought to not be able to add weight. He might have worked his way into the 1st by staying healthy last season and showing he could gain and play with 20-pounds of added weight. He was listed at 289 at beginning of the season, and weighed 309 at the Combine. His Tape is good and he has some nasty in him.
The Reason: Seriously? Byron Bell was their starting OLT last year, and he is a free agent this year. Why does the HC and the GM of the CP hate their Quarterback so much. For the love of the skin of pigs get Cam a friggin' left tackle to protect his back.
Second Choice: Sammy Coates WR
5-11 1/2, 196, 4.52,
37.5" Vert, 10'1"Broad,
7.08 SS, 4.08 SS, 17 Reps,
(17) CJ Mosley ILB Alabama
(48) Timmy Jernigan NT FLA St
(79) Terrence Brooks DB FLA St
Crockett Gillmore TE Colorado St
4 (134) Brent Urban DE Virginia
4 Lorenzo Taliaferro RB C.Carolina
5 (175) John Urschel OG Penn St
7 Michael Campanaro WR Wake
Key Free Agents Signed:
Matt Schaub QB
Chris Greenwood, CB
Victor Hampton CB
Key F.A Lost:
Bernard Pierce RB
Jacoby Jones KR/WR
Gino Gradkowski OC
Haloti Ngata DT
Cary Williams CB
The Team: The Ravens really needs a Corner. Peters might be the best Press Corner in this Draft. It's just that they don't have elite speed. It will be tougher to do what they did in college in the NFL, without elite speed.
They could go a lot of different ways here. They have more needs than usual. They were not as talented a team as they have been they past few years, but got hot in the playoffs. They have some trouble at WR, TE, and RB. Plus they are now officially desperate at DB with eight free agent Corners and Safeties. They have to get a starting Corner right here. The Ravens are in luck however. It appears there are now four 1st Round Corners: Waynes, Peters, Michael Johnson, and Jalen Collins.
The Player: Peters was the only 1st Round corner I saw on Tape during the season. Then he strangled himself out of the first round. His 4.5 didn't hurt him as he no longer has character concerns, only some pesky coaching concerns that have been swept officially under the rug. A little high in pedal. Hips not smooth in transition. Looked good in his second transition. I just love how this kid moves. He can stick his hand right in the chest of the WR and shuffle sideways with him down field. He does that as he reads run and pass, and when it is a run he sheds him and gets to the RB fast. Such a nice combination of size, speed, agility, and strength for a Corner. He does not give up much of a window when the QB throws his way. Does a nice job moving through the blocking WR and grabbing the RB. He gave up a TD late in the 2nd, but otherwise he was awesome at covering Jaelen Strong in the game.
2014: Named to NFL.com's Midseason All-America team ... started the first two games of the season at cornerback ... seven tackles (all solo) and a tackle for loss in the win at Hawai'i ... two tackles and two pass break-ups vs. Eastern Washington ... didn't play vs. Illinois ... posted a pair of first-half interceptions in a start vs. Georgia State ... had his third interception of the season, plus two tackles, vs. Stanford ... three tackles in a start at California ... had seven tackles at Oregon ... two tackles, including one for a loss, vs. Arizona State ... seven tackles, two pass break-ups and two tackles for loss in the win at Colorado.
The Reason: Ozzie loves his Tape. He knows that Tape trumps character concerns. Peters is the best press corner available. He reminds me a ton of Jimmy Smith, who I do believe they traded up to get. Peters can come right in and start, as both their starting CBs are injured and might not be ready to start the season. Or be the 3rd CB and learn a little behind the veterans, and be the insurance policy if one gets hurt again. This pick is too perfect to happen.
Second Choice: Landon Collins SS
5-11, 206, (PD 4.39)!
S-1.52! 8 5/8" Hands,
32" Arms, 22 Reps,
(16) Zach Martin OG Notre Dame.
Demarcus Lawrence DE Boise St
(119) Antony Hitchens LB Iowa.
(146) Devin Street WR Pittsburgh.
(231) Ben Gardner DL Stanford.
Key F.A Signed:
Jed Collins FB
Cole Beasley WR
Greg Hardy DE
Rolando McClain ILB
Nick Hayden DL
Corey White CB
Key F.A :
Bruce Carter, OLB
Key F.A Lost:
George Selvie, DE
The Team: Did you see Jones's silly presser. He all but admitted they are taking an RB early.
Dallas looks like they will try to address RB and CB in the first two Rounds. Getting one of the top four CBs in this Draft out trumps getting one of the top four RBs. They can get an RB as good as Coleman in the 3rd or 4th Rounds. The Corner quality is going to go down fast late in the 2nd. However, there is also a problem because Ajayi has some knee troubles. He is likely to drop out of the 2nd. This could cause them to take Coleman here. Johnson is simply the best in this Draft in Off coverage. But he can Press as well.
Am I nuts. Doesn't this make sense. Dallas has become character concern central. Passing on Gordon will hurt, but I have Duke Johnson on the board when they pick in the 2nd. This is what a pure best player available pick looks like.
DeMarco Murray is gone, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Guys who gain as many yards as did, on as many carries as he did, and took the beating that he did, don't come back and run as well the next season. So look for a big dip in production in Philly next year from him. However, that doesn't help Dallas next year. Getting McFadden helps early in the season when he is healthy, but not late in the season when he is hurt. The Cowboys have all but said they are not going to give big money to DeMarco Murray. They have a ton of free agency problems. So who they can sign and they cannot sign is going to say more about this pick than anything anybody can write right now.
The Player: 4/20 Now See The Best- Tevin Coleman.
The Reason: They are in desperate need of a CB, or two, or three. I think this overrides everything else. But they declared their love for the BR position. I think Coleman is the best zone blocking scheme RB.
Second Choice: Tevin Coleman RB
34 1/2" Arms, 37 Reps!
Bradley Roby CB Ohio St
2-56 Cody Latimer WR Indiana
Michael Schofield ORT Mich
Lamin Barrow LB LSU
Matt Paradis C Boise St
7 (242) Corey Nelson LB OK
Key F.A. Signed:
Demaryius Thomas WR-Tag
Gino Gradkowski OC
Key F.A. Lost:
The Team: The Broncos have a ton of problem along the O-line. They gave up a draft pick for Gradkowski. So he is the starting Center. However, they still need help at OG and ORT. Flowers can step in and start at ORT, and then they can move Vasquez back inside to OG where he belongs. He is not an ORT. This pick fixes the problems they have on the O-line, and could be the final piece that puts it all back together again. Plus, there are whispers that Ryan Clady looked like he slowed down a little and could use a young guy to start developing behind him.
The Broncos were forced to switch over to a run-first team halfway through the year last season, because Manning was such a mess physically. How is this season going to be better? Elway knows that they need a Terrell Davis for Manning, because like in Elway's last year, his body is done. Broncos have a ton of free agency problems. They could go a ton of ways here, just to fill a hole opened by one of their big free agents leaving.
The Player: 4/25 Three-For Miami Part I- Erick Flowers.
The Reason: Manning physically cannot do it anymore. They have to fix the O-line and protect his aching neck. Flowers also played in a Stretch-Zone blocking scheme at Miami, like the Broncos run. He excels at blocking on the move. He can fit into their system much faster than any other system. He should be able to start as a rookie in Denver. This is another example of how wacky this Draft is. Armstead could go as high as 7 to Chicago. I thought he was a perfect fit in San Fran at 15 before they signed Dockett. He would looks great in Cincy or Arizona, where they love the long tall D-Ends. Or, he could drop all the way here to 28. That is a variance of 21 picks.
Second Choice: Tevin Coleman RB
NT/DT FLA ST
6-3 3/4, 335 33.1" Arms,
(PD 5.27), 26" Vert,
4.87 SS, 3-C 7.62,
2 (59) Jack Mewhort OL Ohio St
(90) Donte Moncrief WR Miss
5-166 Jonathan Newsome LB Ball St
7 (232) Ulrick John OL Georgia St
Key F.A. Signed:
Dan Herron RB
Vincent Brown WR
Joe Reitz OG/OT
Nate Irving ILB
Mike Adams S
Dwight Lowery S
Josh Cribbs, KR
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB
Fili Moala, DE
Ricky Jean-Francois 5-T
Shaun Phillips OLB
LaRon Landry SS
The Team: This team needs to get a guy who can hold the point. They need to spend this off season putting the ugly in Big Ugly. They were the worst run defense I saw play last year (actually they were the two worst run defenses I saw last year;-). Getting a big ugly run stuffer to put in the middle of the line instantly makes this team better.
The Player: Goldman is a top five NT/DT in this Draft. He powers into the double team and makes the OG and OT stick to him. Doesn’t usually make the play, but keeps two blockers occupied as he moves forward so they are not hitting the linebackers. He is a 3-4 beast. He is so good at using his hands and feet and moving sideways with the double team to stay in front of the RB. That is an NFL skill. He too often looks more to stop the QB scramble than rushing. Looks confused in the rush sometimes. He still needs some coaching. He has great quick lateral burst to gain the outside shoulder of the OG and ride him into the backfield.
Plays NT for FLA ST as well as DT. He gets great movement on the OC right off the snap, and opens up a lane for a blitzer while doing it. I like how he gets his hands into the OC and shoves him up and back, and then grabs his shirt and pulls him aside. He is such a great stack and shed player. He can get pushed back, and then hold his position and technique, and then shed and attack the RB. Not sure he comes out. He looks confused sometimes when he doesn't line up at NT. He will not drop sometimes and play the spy. Great quick swim move right off the snap. He can push the OC back and tackle the RB with the feet of the OC. Tremendous power when he guesses right and comes off the snap strong. When they allowed him to attack off the snap he made plays in the backfield with his powerful burst.
He consistently extends his arms nicely off the snap. His first move is consistently to extend his arms. He does a nice job of bursting up field too quickly, but still finding the ball. He sometimes has to dance and spin around to find it, but he does. Yikes! When he guesses the count no one can stop him bursting through the 3-gap. He is such a nice stack and shed player that he is a little underrated as an attacking DT. He whiffs sometimes when the RB slashes past him, but he always makes the RB have to change angles to get through the hole. He often lines up more as 1-Tech in FLA State's odd front, usually shading to the left side. He has a some interesting value as a 3-Tech. I really seem him more as an up field 5-Tech than an athletic NT.
Goldman is a terrific player and athlete. He played Nose Tackle at FLA ST this past season, but might be more of a 5-Tech in the NFL. "He's a powerful, explosive guy," one scout said. "Strong at the point." I thought Jernigan was a better football player last year and he went in the 2nd Round (which I think really shows how special last years Draft really was). "Three-technique," another scout said. "He can do it all. Plays hard." But Goldman will be a 1st in this Draft.
The Reason: Goldman is a guy who is really falling.
Second Choice: Benardrick McKinney ILB
6-1, 199, (PD 4.4), 18 Reps
12'3"! 44 1/2" Vert!
SS 3.94! 3-C 6.78!
(21) Ha Ha Clinton-Dix S Alabama
2 (53) Davante Adams WR Fresno
(85) Khyri Thornton DE S. Miss
Richard Rodgers TE California
(121) Carl Bradford olb Arizona St
5 (161) Corey Linsley OC Ohio St
Jared Abbrederis WR Wisconsin
(197) Demetri Goodson CB Baylor
7) Jeff Janis WR Saginaw Valley St
Scott Tolzien QB
Scott Tolzien QB
John Kuhn FB
Raji, DE NT
Letroy Guion NT
Key F.A. Lost:
Brad Jones LB
The Team: They have some trouble they will have to deal with in free agency. So depending on who they can get will determine which direction they will go.
The Player: 1/28 Leaping Into Day One- Byron Jones.
The Reason: They have to get a Corner and a Safety in this Draft. Jones is a freak athlete who played Safety and CB in college.
Second Choice: Eric Kendricks ILB
6-3 1/8, 247, (O 4.6),
33" arms, 24 Reps,
S-1.68, (U 4.6),
35" Vert, 10'3" Broad,
4.16 3-C, 7.07 3-C,
(20) Brandin Cooks WR Oregon St
Stanley Jean-Baptiste Nebraska
(126) Khairi Fort LB California.
(167) Vinnie Sunseri SS Alabama.
(169) Ronald Powell LB Florida.
6 (202) Tavon Rooks OT Kansas St
Luke McCown QB
Joe Morgan WR
Ramon Humber LB
Jahri Evans RG
Dannell Ellerbe ILB
Parys Haralson OLB
Kyle Wilson CB
Jamarca Sanford S
Shayne Graham K
Key Free Agents Lost:
Patrick Robinson CB
The Team: They had a lot of trouble in coverage last season. Keenan Lewis is legit. But the only other name I recognized on their depth chart at CB was Stanley Jean-Baptiste, their 2nd round pick last year. The signing of Browner and Lewis will help. Now they have to help the secondary in the rush.
The Player: 4/16 Outside Rusher, Part III- Eli Harold.
The Reason: They need a ton of help on defense. They have to get an OLB/Passrusher and a CB. they got help for their secondary in free agency. So it looks like a passrusher here. But if Ray is on the Board because of his toe they have to take a chance.
Not a real hard chose here. They need to get a rusher to compliment Spencer.
Second Choice: Shane Ray DE/PR/DUMB
6-1, 205, (O 4.45),
31 1/2" A, 19 R, 39"V! 10'5"B! 3.97 SS! 6.7 3-C!
Dominique Easley DE/DT FLA
(62) Jimmy Garoppolo QB E Illinois
(105) Bryan Stork OC FLA ST
(130) James White RB Wisconsin
4 Cameron Fleming ORT Stanford
(198) Zach Moore DE Concordia
6 (204) Tyler Gaffney RB Stanford.
Key F.A. Tagged:
Travaris Cadet RB
James Develin FB
Brian Tyms WR
Brandon Gibson WR
Jabaal Sheard, DE
Alan Branch DT
Sealver Siliga NT
Chimdi Chekwa CB
Stephen Gos tkowski, K
Dan Connolly, G
Dan Connolly, G
Key Free Aents Gone.
Shane Vereen RB
The Team: Eric Rowe is the best Press Corner in this Draft. On film he looks like a nice blend of Revis and Browner. He might never be as good as Revis, but he will be better than Browner. I think BB can coach him up and start him as a rookie Press Corner like he did with McCourty. The Pats defense works best when they have CBs who can press. This gives them two young shots at Corners who can Press. If Malcolm Butler can progress and Rowe is as good next year as he was on Tape this past season, the Pats could find themselves in the Super Bowl again.
And yes, I'm a big enough wimp to admit I'm not sure. I think Butler looks like a legit starting Press Corner in the NFL. I think that Rowe looked like a legit starting Press Corner on Tape. But, they both are so young. Also Rowe played almost exclusively on the left side at Utah, and I thought that Butler played his best on the left side as well. Usually not a problem, but it does happen, like with Revis, where a corner just feels more comfortable on one side. They both will still be so young and fragile mentally next season that I start to get wimpy thinking about them as the starting CBs.
But, we are playing for the Playoffs and not the first half of the season. Butler is not going to be so young after the regular season is over, and Rowe won't really be a rookie any more if he survives. This is just too perfect to happen.
I know this seems out of left field, but Rowe seems to have all the attributes that BB likes in a 1st Round Press Corner. He has similarities to McCourty, Browner, and yes Revis. I'm not saying he could reach Revis Island, but now I think he could be as good as Talib without the crazy. I think he is the best Press Corner in this Draft.
The problem the Pats have is that they spent some money in free agency on a couple of veteran Corners. But one of the reasons they won it all is because they had the best secondary in the NFL Playoffs last season. Browner is not a great Corner, but he is a great Playoff Press Corner where they allow more physicality, grabbing, and holding. Now they are replacing their two excellent starting Playoff-veteran CBs with much lesser guys. They cannot expect to win it all with Fletcher and Chekwa as their starting CBs. They are nice veteran Corners who can help out in multiple situations. But I would be scared going into the Playoffs with these two guys as starters. Maybe they'll prove to be better in our system, but most likely not.
Butler is the wildcard. He scares me as a starter. He is so young, and comes from so far out of nowhere that it makes me nervous. However, he was terrific in the preseason last year. And most importantly he was playing in the 1st half of those Preseason games against opponents starting WRs, and not in the 2nd Half against the practice Squad guys. I never compliment young guys for playing well in the 2nd Half of Preseason games. Then he disappeared most of the season. He reappeared in the Super Bowl and was spectacular in the 4th quarter. Wilson was reluctant to throw at Revis or Browner, so he tried to pick on the rookie like he should. Butler was spectacular in the 4th Quarter breaking up every ball thrown is way. The one pass he gave up, he leaped up in the air and knocked the ball away. The ball flipping up in the air and bounced off of both of Mathew's groins, for the almost infamous crotch catch, but he also broke up four other passes and got the Super Bowl winning INT.
That is a terrifyingly tiny sample size. However, I still say that last preseason and in the 4th Quarter of the Super Bowl he was the best Corner on the Roster. Granted, Wilson was purposely avoiding Revis and Browner. So I know there are mitigating circumstance that won't happen this season (like he'll be on the Number One or Two, and not the third guy;-), but he did it when it counted the most, and the least (just not so much in the middle;-). Which I went over on extensively in the 4th quarter and The Play Heard 'Round The World. At his best he is clearly the best CB they have on the roster right now. Which is exciting and nerve wrecking. If he takes the second year leap like BB expects, he is the Pats Number One Corner. If he falters a little, they have two veterans free agents to step in and help out. To me, Fletcher and Chekwa are insurgency policies for the unpredictable Butler. Veterans who can step in and play Zone and Off coverages, and maybe some Press with help over the top. Plus, they have Logan Ryan who excels in Press as well.
But they still need a starter opposite Butler. Maybe I'm wrong and BB sees Fletcher as a starter in his system. But the more I look at it the more I see veteran insurance policies. They have to get starters at OLG and CB. The good news is that they can get a starter at OG late in 3rd and early in the 4th. But the starting caliber CBs will run out much earlier in this Draft. I think a run on CBs starts late in the 1st. The Lions could take a CB. The Cardinals could take a CB. The Panthers could take a CB. The Broncos could take a CB. However, Baltimore, Dallas, Green Bay, and New Orleans have to get a CB early in this Draft.
So if the Pats are planning on getting a starter at CB it is going to have to be here at 32. That to me is Eric Rowe or Byron Jones. Jones reminds me of McCourty at Rutgers. So they will take him for all the same reasons they traded down twice and took McCourty at pick 27. BB likes the freak factor early in Drafts, and McCourty was a freak when he came out. I said he was the most physical Corner in the Draft, and he ran a 4.38 at the Combine. Those are the two factors that will get Trae Waynes drafted in the top half of this Draft. So Byron has a lot of traits that BB likes on Tape that made him take McCourty when he came out of Rutgers in 2010. But those traits are not necessarily things that all teams look for, and that is why McCourty went so late, and why I think Byron follows suit. Bryon is not as valued by other teams as he is by me.
Bryon doesn't have McCourty's elite speed, but I think he has better change of direction and movement skills. Plus, he has McCourty's long arms, and Bryon can give a great one handed jam at the LOS. Then turn and run with grace and agility. That is one of the traits that BB values. Now he might not be able to run down the sideline with the pure speed WRs like McCourty, Waynes, Ronald Darby, Kevin White, and Charles Gaines. But he does have comparable speed to Doran Grant, Eric Rowe, and Alex Carter (all three could be available at 64), and Marcus Peters, Jalen Collins, and Kevin Johnson (all three should be in the run at the end of the 1st).
So Byron has a lot of 1st round traits, and a lot of 2nd Round traits. So teams that value his 1st round traits like physicality, turning and running in Press, upside, and a great jam at the LOS, like BB, are going to take longer looks at him. While other teams that put more value on his 2nd Round traits like pure coverage instincts, experience as a pure Corner, movements skills, Off coverage, and bigger conferences will be taking longer looks at Collins, Peters, and Johnson.
Because I think that if the Pats had Butler, with the second year jump, and maybe, just maybe Bryon playing like McCourty his rookie year that they could take the AFC again. Now, a thousand things will have to go right for both players to come anywhere near what Revis and Browner did last year, and I really don't think that you can expect that.
So Chung will have to play less in the Box, which hurts his game as well. They will have to zone it a little more, especially early in the season. So I am not saying they can duplicate what Browner and Revis did, but with some extra help over the top (which really hurts the run defense as Chung, Hightower and Collins where fighting each other to be the best run stuffers on the team last year), and a little better rush with a healthy Mr. Jones and Easley, and Easley and Sheard rushing inside, those two could be good enough to make some big plays in the playoffs to win it all again.
I think those two young guys have a chance. It may be small, but I'm saying they have a chance. I don't think Fletcher and Chekwa do. It is a huge risk to expect two young players to play such vital roles in a playoff run. That is why they got the two insurance policies. But if Butler takes a second year leap he can be a Number One Corner, not a shut down Corner like Revis. But you could put him on the QB's right side on the Number One and feel safe enough to blitz, and bring Chung up into the box a little. And if Byron or Rowe can fit into the system as well as McCourty did his rookie year, and play a physical Press Corner like Browner did last year, you could have excellent outside coverage on both sides. I'm not sure about other teams, but I think that Byron can come in as a rookie and fit into BBs system well enough to be a factor late in the season as a big physical corner in the rookie McCourty mode, and last season's Brandon Browner role.
The Player: 4/28 The Best In Press- Eric Rowe.
The Reason: They have to get some help for their devastated secondary. I just worry that the attention and money this position got in free agency that BB might feel secure enough to ignore the CBs in the Draft. But the more I looked at it the less I think it is so. Byron Jones has so many of the traits that BB values in the 1st Round that he stands out almost annoying in relations to the other players up here. If he is on the Board here, BB's history says they gleefully take him. BB loved Dowling's traits so much he took him at pick 33 in the Draft, which most of us thought was a reach. He loved McCourty's traits so much he took him at 27. But he also knew that the traits he loved so much in Ras-I and McCourty made him undervalued enough that he was able to traded down twice. So taking Byron Jones or Eric Rowe at 32 falls into his tendencies on Draft Day, and many will think it will be a reach.
I love Coates here. The flash and dash pick to make headlines. But sometimes the logical pick is the best. If you look at BB's record the pick is simple. If Erving is on the board here he is a Patriot. BB has taken O-linemen in the 1st multiple times. Plus one of his most successful picks ever was a converted OLT, he turned into an OLG. Erving doesn't fit that description perfectly. He was an OLT who converted to center, and now would be converting to OLG (but I think that is close enough;-). Plus, when BB purposely ignores a giant hole in the roster it is because he has a plan. They have to get an OLG in this Draft. We all want the sexy pick with all the flash and dash, but what the Pats need is line help inside, on both sides (something I went over extensively in the Preston Smith Tape- Inside Rusher. Part I. But Erving is a beast inside, and now is being talked about as early as 18 to the Chiefs. OC's usually fall further than they should, but he is a top-20 talent in this Draft.
Second Choice: Sammie Coates WR
For more Info on Pats, check out my: Patriots Draft Blog.
6/7 BB Does It Again: Jordan Richards.
5/14 He Checks All The Boxes: Malcom Brown.
5/15 He Can Run, But... : Damarious Randall.
5/20 Elite Athlete at Linebacker: Stephone Anthony.
5/12 Weed And A Toe Made Me A Bronco: Shne Ray.
5/12 Not Ready For Primetime: Cedric Ogbuehi Bio.
5/11 Finding A Position: Shaq Thompson.
5/10 Punching His Way 1st: DJ Humpries.
5/9 Interesting Linear Speed: Nelson Agholor
5/9 Playing Angry- Marcus Peters.
5/8 The Skill To Win- Arik Armstead.
5/7 Why I Like Him- Jameis Winston.
5/7 Slashing Through History- Melvin Gordon.
5/6 The Skill To Win- Marcus Mariota.
4/30 Tackling Machine Part I- Eric Kendricks.
4/30 Tackling Machine Part II- Benardrick McKinney."
4/29 Pats 3rd Down Back?- Ameer Abdullah.
4/28 The Best In Press- Eric Rowe.
4/28 Bring On Your Wrecking Ball- Dante Fowler Jr.
4/25 Three-For Miami Part III- Jon Feliciano.
4/25 Three-For Miami Part II- Duke Johnson.
4/25 Three-For Miami Part I- Erick Flowers.
4/23 Moving On Up: Kevin Johnson.
4/23 Three-For USC Part I: J.R. Tavai.
4/23 Three-For USC Part II: Hayes Pollard.
4/23 Watts the Question Three For USC Part I: Leonard Williams.
4/22 Three-For South Carolina Part I: AJ Cann.
4/22 Three-For South Carolina Part II: Mike Davis.
4/22 Three-For South Carolina Part III: Corey Robinson.
4/20 Three-For Alabama- Arie Kouandjio.
4/20 Three-For Alabama- TJ Yeldon.
4/20 Three-For Alabama- Austin Shepherd.
4/20 Now See The Best- Tevin Coleman. Updated.
4/16 Outside Rusher, Part IV- Max Valles.
4/16 Outside Rusher, Part III- Eli Harold.
4/15 Outside Rusher, Part II- Bud Dupree.
4/7 Outside Rusher, Part I- Vic Beasley.
4/1 Inside Rusher. Part III- Za'Daruis Smith.
4/5 Inside Rusher. Part II- Owamagbe Odighizuwa.
4/4 Inside Rusher. Part I- Preston Smith.
3/30 And Then I Got High- Randy Gregory.
3/20 The Best Player on Tape- Danny Shelton.
5/5 High Pointing The Ball- Kevin White. Oops. I forgot about this one.
4/19 In The Top Three or Four- Jaelen Strong.
4/19 Smoothest Runner In The Draft- Amari Cooper.
4/8 A Story of Speed- Phillip Dorsett.
4/7 Leaping Into Day One- Chris Conley.
4/6 One Bumpy Rug- Dorial Green-Beckham.
4/3 A Freak With Flash Part I- Sammie Coates.
3/30 One Step at a Time- DeVante Parker.
3/10 Sprinting Into the Top Ten- Trae Waynes.
3/30 Keeping the Pace- Andrus Peat.
2/4 A Gazelle On Crack- Devin Smith.
2/2 Center of Attention- Cameron Erving.
1/28 A Nose For The Ball- Jordan Phillips.
1/28 Leaping Into Day One- Byron Jones.
1/17 More Than An H-Back- Clive Walford.
1/17 Gronk-Lite- Maxx Williams.
4/30 Left Side Part I- Laken Tomlinson.
4/28 Left Hand Turn- TJ Clemmings.
4/21 Collins Vs Fowler- La'el Collins.
4/21 Moving Inside- Brandon Scherff.
4/17 Versatility- Mario Edwards Jr.